Another Way for Google to Get Location?

I was playing around with some of the new Google “themes” (as with iGoogle) for GMail and discovered that location is part of the thing:

picture-122

picture-212

I wonder if Google will use this information (in addition to other methodologies it has) to influence content and/or adds it shows me. The answer right now is probably not. But it’s another place that Google is soliciting location information from users.

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Related: Google’s SearchWiki customized search tool/program may do something like this as well. Individuals using it, which will be a minority of Google users, may disambiguate local results themselves and give Google more feedback that will eventually improve the display and ranking of local information.

Related II: Google is going to try and get Chrome (which has location awareness baked in) pre-installed on PCs in the coming months.

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8 Responses to “Another Way for Google to Get Location?”

  1. Tim Cohn Says:

    I too noticed this when I selected my new theme.
    I also noticed once in – can’t back out.

  2. mike Says:

    i think it’s to calculate time of day and weather — some of the themes/scenes change from morning, noon to night, and show weather conditions, like the iGoogle themes.

  3. Tim Cohn Says:

    Summer Ocean? I didn’t keep it so I don’t know whether it shows moonlit low tide or not.

  4. doncampbell Says:

    I wonder if Google will use this location (San Francisco in your screen-shot) when you do searches. Sometimes Google will ask you for Zip code when you search for terms with a potential “local intent” – this way they already have your location and can automatically serve up local results?

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    Mike: Yes re time of day … Just wondering if it would potentially be used more broadly.

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    Don: precisely my question too…

  7. Tim Cohn Says:

    Search for a San Francisco based business or retail brand and see what kind of new search results you get.

  8. Does GMail Location Change Results? « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] GMail Location Change Results? Last week I raised the question of whether the location associated with the new GMail themes would influence search results (and/or [...]

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